The journey from script to film distribution

Attended another brilliant workshop about filming industry hosted by Rebekah Smith and   Rebekah invited two guests Gary Poyntz and Rob Craine, the media consultants, who deal with the selection of scripts on behalf of investors.   

As a person, who is interested in producing and directing short films which have potential to go beyond YouTube, this workshop was very valuable - particularly information about the process for obtaining funding and various aspects of distribution.

Having a brilliant script with captivating plot and engaging characters is a must - that goes without saying.  But there is much more work to be done before your script gets noticed. 

First of all, given my background in financial services industry, it came as a surprise that film industry has their own term for business case - it is called "package".   Package is what turns your script into a potential project to invest.  It will contain not only information about the script, its synopsis and illustrations to demonstrate the mood and feel of the future film,  but also detailed information about the costs of production and, if you are very good, costs of distribution.  It will also cover the potential revenue, which you are unlikely to estimate yourself without experienced sales agent.  

Second, the presenters were very clear that if you are applying for funding from serious investors, your "package" will be rather useless if you do not reserve appropriate film star to take part in your production. It does not have to be an actor, it could be a commercially successful director.  But in any case, you will need to demonstrate their interest - perhaps an email from an agent of a "star" saying that they like the script.  It would be a job of a producer (or in some cases sales agent) to obtain that interest.  

Final point which I took away from this workshop, it that costing process could be rather complicated, but it is important to make sure that not only production costs are covered, but that you take into account the costs of sales agent, media lawyer, and, what many people forget, the other costs of post-production distribution including applications to festivals, travel costs, advertising, media consulting costs, etc.

Overall, the conclusion is that you need to be prepared to spend a lot before you start getting any money back and the time gap between the two could be quite significant. 

Have you been put off by the process yet, my fellow scriptwriters and filmmakers?  Hope not.


PS You can read the article on the second part of this event CLICK HERE